Kristi Leskinen and Maksim Chemerkovskiy finish on top and advance to the the next episode |

Kristi Leskinen and Maksim Chemerkovskiy finish on top and advance to the the next episode

Freestyle skier Kristi Leskinen and her partner, dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy, won the second set of events in the primetime ABC show, “The Superstars,” that aired Tuesday night. Alpine racer Bode Miller and his partner Paige Hemmis of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” were forced to compete in the obstacle-course elimination round, but the team advanced by beating former baseball player Jeff Kent and model Ali Landry in an obstacle-course heat. In the final elimination race, Kent and Landry sent home former NBA player Robert Horry and actress Estella Warren.

Taped at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, the six-show series airs on Tuesday evenings. Starting with eight two-person teams, the program pairs an athlete with a celebrity for various physical challenges such as swimming, biking, running and kayaking. Each week, one athlete-celebrity team is eliminated from the overall competition.

T.O. and Krupa return

Football player Terrell Owens and model Joanna Krupa were initially knocked out of the competition in the premiere episode. However, an injury forced former tennis player Jennifer Capriati, who had been paired with actor David Charvet, to leave the show, so Owens and Krupa were allowed to return. The shuffle continued during the second episode after actor Dan Cortese went down with a hamstring injury in the Sand Dash event. Charvet returned to replace Cortese and team with basketball player Lisa Leslie.

Skiers dash in the sand

The first event of the second episode, a series of relay sprints on the beach dubbed the Sand Dash, went Owens and Krupa. Owens’ NFL-caliber speed clearly was well beyond the rest of the competitors. The skiers, however, also looked strong. Leskinen and Chmerkovskiy finished second in the event, followed by Miller and Hemmis in third.

Miller showed a bit of track-and-field strategy by intentionally false starting for each race. By the rules, the first false start is not penalized, but the second false start, even by a different competitor, results in disqualification.

Leskinen makes a splash

In second competition of the show, a long jump into the water, Leskinen and Chmerkovskiy combined for the longest measurement of any team. With the top overall performance of the second episode and a second-place finish in the premiere show, the team appears to be an early favorite.

The Water Leap was not as successful for Miller, who failed to clear his attempted jump. The miss forced Miller and Hemmis to the obstacle course for the first time. The pair avoided the obstacle-course elimination round with a fourth-place finish in the premiere show.

Six teams left

Six teams remain in the competition: Leskinen and Chmerkovskiy, Miller and Hemmis, Owens and Krupa, Leslie and Charvet, Kent and Landry, and Brandi Chastain and Julio Iglesias Jr. The next episode airs on ABC on Tuesday, July 7 at 8 p.m. EDT.

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Posted on: July 1, 2009
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